It is impossible to support the social and emotional health of young people, if we as teachers do not attend to our own emotional health.
Anyone who has worked in schools or who knows a teacher will be aware that they are often stressed, tired, and running on empty until the next school holiday arrives. Reports suggest that high workloads, increased monitoring and accountability, challenging pupil behaviour or emotional difficulties, ongoing policy changes and toxic school cultures are among the many factors that contribute to poor teacher wellbeing.
It is increasingly pressing that teacher wellbeing should be viewed as a serious concern. Worrying figures show teachers are reporting poor physical and mental health as a result of their work, and of course this all has an impact on absence rates, motivation, and staff retention, both for individual schools and for the whole profession.
Teacher wellbeing is not only a profound issue for our teachers – it also has a major impact on pupil outcomes.
But how can we improve teacher wellbeing? Many solutions arguably lie within the wider education system, such as by creating fair and appropriate expectations around teacher workloads and reducing the pressures faced by schools from accountability processes.
It is crucial for schools and teachers to take action now to support teacher wellbeing and by making these changes to foster good emotional health in our schools, a positive impact can be made on pupils’ academic, social and emotional learning, and the teaching profession at large.
– Nick Halsman-Smith
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